Proving Parental Alienation Syndrome

Missouri Lawyers Weekly recently published an article by Allison Retka that looks at the difficulties of admitting accusations of Parental Alienation Syndrome into the courtroom during child custody battles.

Among the several professionals quoted in the article, Cordell & Cordell divorce attorney Scott Trout, weighed in on the subject. Trout explained that because Parental Alienation Syndrome is not recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Orders it is not a recognized psychological syndrome to the extent that it is admissible in court.

“That’s your struggle,” the article quotes Trout as saying. “You can prove conduct. You can have the child interviewed by psychologists. But you’re not necessarily trying to prove [PAS’s] scientific validity.”

The Cordell & Cordell partner explains that while you might want to ask the expert if the child in question is in fact suffering with what some might diagnose as Parental Alienation Syndrome, “I would never ask an expert [that]. You’re crossing a slippery slope.”